There is not much that you can do, when you are far away … You feel helpless and ineffective. Your people at home need you, and you are stuck on another continent. The last flight into Brussels – DL 80 – left Atlanta on Monday and landed at our National Airport on Tuesday morning, shortly after the attacks. Its passengers deplaned at a remote location on the airfield. And now, there are no direct flights. Belgium is in limbo. Belgium is mourning. But Belgium will rise stronger.
beATL – with the support of the Consulate General of Belgium – held a vigil for the Brussels’ terror attack victims at Bantam + Tiddy yesterday. We wanted to express our solidarity to all affected, offer our comfort and show how united we are, here, there and everywhere. We were joined by French supporters for whom it was a sad déjà-vu … The Consul General of Ireland, Shane Stephens, was also in attendance as well as Claire Angelle, Director of the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, Wim Van Cauteren, Trade and Investment Commissioner for Flanders-Belgium (FIT) and representatives of the Consulates General of France and of Switzerland. [The Mayor of the City of Atlanta and The Consul General of France were with us in spirit, not able to attend].
Our compatriots came draped with Belgian flags or were wearing Belgian colors. We shared wine and Belgian beers around typical Southern food … This is us in Atlanta. And, as concluded by our Consul General Genevieve Verbeek during her a few words loaded with emotions: Belgian spirit will never be broken! We observed a minute of silence during which one could almost see the sadness weighing down on all of us.
A huge Thank You goes to all of you, who took time out of your busy schedules to be part of our impromptu, convivial but respectful gathering. And a very special Thank You is extended to Executive Chef, Shaun Doty, the co-ower of Bantam + Biddy, who contacted the Consulate General to offer his restaurant as meeting place, and generously provided wine and food for our community. And also Thank You to beATL Meltse, our waffle-maker of the evening, who spontaneously started making Belgian waffles for us ….
#prayforbelgium #prayforbrussels … and stay safe!